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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #438760

Research Project: Improving Wheat Yield and Quality with Balanced Sulfur and Nitrogen Management

Location: Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research

Project Number: 3020-21000-011-31-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2020
End Date: Jun 30, 2021

The goal of this study is to improve the yield and quality of hard red winter wheat in Kansas with balanced sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) fertilization. The specific objectives are to: (i) Quantify the effects of S and N fertilization on wheat yield and yield components (number of spikes, number of kernels per spike, and individual kernel weight). (ii) Measure the effects S and N fertilization on wheat grain quality (protein concentration, asparagine concentration, and baking quality). This objective is the specific focus of the ARS investigator. (iii) Determine N:S ratios in plant biomass and wheat grain required to optimize yield and grain quality. (iv) Evaluate the effects of S application timing on winter wheat grain yield and quality. (v) Measure the association between S availability in typical Kansas soils with asparagine concentrations in grain of key Kansas wheat varieties. Objectives (i) through (iv) evaluate N and S effects for wheat varieties with contrasting N use efficiency produced in no-till systems following soybean. Objective (v) collects data from wheat in diverse production systems.

The project will produce grain samples of a range of wheat genotypes grown under a range of sulfur and nitrogen fertility management practices. The approach of the ARS investigator in collaboration with the PIs is as follows: Whole grain samples will be analyzed for protein and moisture by near infrared spectroscopy (NIR). Ground grain samples will be analyzed for baking quality using the Lactic acid-SDS SRC test (Seabourn et al., 2012). This is an efficient and economical predictor of bread-making qulity based on the swelling of the glutenin macropolymer. The Lactic acid-SDS SRC test is well correlated to bread loaf volume and mixograph water absorption and mix time (Seabourn et al., 2012). Free amino acid concentrations (including asparagine) in grain will be determined with the EZ Faast free amino acid system using detection with gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy.